Trying unsuccesfully to find a use for the G1

Started Mar 26, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Birddogman
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Trying unsuccesfully to find a use for the G1
Mar 26, 2009

I purchased a G1 when they first came out, thinking that it would be an ideal replacement for the Leica DL3 (LX2) that I was using as a field camera. It was my hope that the G1 would provide much of the flexibility and capability of the big Canon DSLR system that I use when portability is not an issue, but yet still be small and light enough to use afield.

I primarily photograph bird dogs at work and upland bird hunting at various places as we travel around the country in a motorhome. It is not uncommon for the dogs and I to cover 15 or more miles of rough terrain in a day afiled. Weather can be bad. I can be pushing through picker jungles and other nasty vegetation that will snag or even tear off anything not well attached. I carry a lot of stuff, including gallons of water for the dogs. Of course, I must carry and be able to use a gun, unless I am guiding for someone else. I have used a series of small P&S cameras over the years for this purpose – the past few years a DL3/LX2. Obviously, any such camera has its limitations.

Well, the G1 turned out to be a disappointment for this purpose. IQ was not bad and it certainly had more flexibility and capabilities than my old P&S camera, but it just wasn’t possible to carry the camera in a manner that it would be safe from weather and debris, secure from catching on vegetation, but still instantly accessible, because dogs and wild upland game birds generally do not wait for you to dig out a camera, and set it up to take their picture. Keeping it strung around my neck with no lens cap worked in terms of getting it into action quickly, but did not secure the camera from weather, damage and from snagging on everything, plus it kept me from mounting my gun. If I was going to carry a camera in that troublesome manner, why not just use the full-race DSLR? The little levers and such on the G1 kept being bumped and moving around under field conditions, so the settings would need to be at least checked for each shot.. Finally, the EVF would black-out completely when I used the camera in burst mode, making any proper imaging a matter of pure luck (point it in the general direction and hope for the best).

Here are a few pics from my efforts to use the G1 in the field:

After a couple of months, I switched to a D-Lux 4 (LX3) for field use and gave up on the G1. Although it does not have the capabilities of the G1, the little DL4/LX3 has good IQ and, most importantly, can be securely and safely carried on my belt in its little leather holster-like Leica case and be gotten into action about as fast as an old-time cowboy could draw his trusty Colt .45.

Here are a few recent DL4/LX3 pics:

If I want to do serious photography AND circumstances allow me to tote a lot of equipment, I use the Canon DSLR system. If I can’t deal with all of that equipment, I just use the little DL4/LX3. The G1 more or less sits unused in the truck, because it is neither fish nor fowl – neither small P&S nor big, capable DSLR. I think I made a mistake in buying it.

Thanks for listening to my venting. Does anyone else see the G1 in a similar light?

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